You’ve lived in the same home for years, maybe decades. You might have raised your whole family in this house, and it’s quite possible your kids are moved out by now. Lately, you’ve started to ask yourself (and your spouse), “do we really need a house this big?” Well if these signs sound familiar, there’s a good chance a smaller home is more suited for you at this life stage.

A downsize could mean savings on monthly mortgage payments. That’s a pretty obvious benefit. Smaller home, smaller mortgage payment. But what about those under-the-radar advantages of forgoing your large house for a smaller one? Check out these five unexpected benefits of downsizing.

1. Keep your vacuum in the closet longer.

Maybe you currently own a three-story, four-bedroom house or a home with multiple common areas and bathrooms. You’re probably lugging the vacuum up flights of stairs, dusting rooms that are barely occupied, and decluttering stuff you haven’t used in ages. And when you’re living in a smaller house, it comes down to simple math. The less square footage you have means the less “stuff” you need, means the less time you need to clean. Who wouldn’t want to keep their vacuum and cleaning supplies in the closet longer?

2. Get a greener footprint.

Reducing your carbon footprint and going green at home may seem unimportant, but what if we said it can save you money, too? By downsizing to a smaller house and lot, you’ll likely use less resources. We’re talking less heat for the house, less water for your lawn, and even less electricity usage. Lowering your energy usage will help your wallet by not shelling out as much to your utility companies.

You might even use less gas if you relocate to a town where you wouldn’t have to jump in the car to pick up a gallon of milk. After all, more people phasing into retirement are moving to more walkable communities.

3. Improve or renovate easier (and cheaper).

A smaller home can give you the freedom to spend a little more on home improvement projects. We’re not suggesting buying a fixer-upper when downsizing, but with a lower mortgage payment, putting money towards new kitchen appliances, updated flooring, or a long list of other projects may not be as big of a financial burden.

4. Own a little less and live a lot more.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The more things you own, the more they own you”? It’s the mindset of a minimalist. Basically, the idea is the more possessions you have and the larger a lifestyle you live, the more mentally straining life can become. When your home decreases in size and you part ways with a lot of belongings, you’ll naturally have less to worry about regarding housework, furnishing, and outdoor maintenance. This can free your mind of stress and free up your weekly to-do list.

5. Open up a new chapter.

Whether you’re an empty-nester whose kids have moved out, a retiree ready for a change of scenery, or someone who’s suffered the death of a spouse, downsizing can represent a new, exciting life stage. A change of pace, setting, and lifestyle can present new experiences, from travel destinations to a new feeling of community. This new chapter can even breathe a new sense of happiness.

See? Living small has a big, surprising upside.

Thinking that living in a smaller house might be up your alley? Great! Now it’s time to get an idea of the space you’ll need for your downsize, based on what you want out of this next phase.

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